Gunshot victim reunites with officers who saved his life

SANTA ANA, Calif. (KABC) -- A Santa Ana man who was shot two weeks ago was reunited with the two officers who helped save his life.

Saul Torres continues to recover after he was shot in the chest.

"Just remember, like, somebody hitting me in the back. I turn around, that's when I realized I got shot," said Torres.

He was shot in the front yard of his home at 7 a.m., his four young kids were inside his home. He called 911, then collapsed.

Rookie officers Nick Provencio and Alejandro Avila were first on scene.

"We started rendering first aid, used my hands to seal his gunshot wound while my partner went to the car and got a trauma kit, basically," said Provencio.

They sealed the wound until paramedics arrived. The bullet grazed Torres' hands, pierced his liver and a lung, before lodging near his spine.

Doctors said if it wasn't for the officers' quick actions, he would've died.

Fresh out of the hospital, Torres and his family came to thank their heroes.

"To see them here, it reaffirms why we're here," said Avila. "This is the best job in the world."

These two officers, like all Santa Ana officers, are trained in Tactical Emergency Casualty Care or TECC. It's a high-stress class, designed to train them to save lives.

"They know what to do when they go on scene, and just the knowledge that stays with them -- they take it out into the field and use it, it's amazing," said Officer Ethan Maietta, an officer and Marine corps veteran who teaches the class.

Torres said that training and these officers are why he gets to see his kids again.

"If it wasn't for them, I wouldn't be here pretty much," said Torres. "I'm grateful for a second chance."
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